Eve

Close to the gates of Paradise I flee;
   The night is hot and serpents leave their beds,
   And slide along the dark, crooking their heads,—
My God, my God, open the gates to me!

My eyes are burning so I cannot see;
   My feet are bleeding and I suffer pain;
   Let me come in on the cool grass again—
My God, my God, open the gates to me!

I ate the fruit of the forbidden tree,
   And was cast out into the barren drouth;
   And since – the awful taste within my mouth!
My God, my God, open the gates to me!

Am I shut out for all eternity?
   I do repent me of my one black sin,
   With prayers and tears of blood . . . Let me come in!
My God, my God, open the gates to me!

Let me come in where birds and flowers be;
   Let me once more lie naked in the grass
   That trembles when the long wind-ripples pass!
Lord God, Lord God, open the gates to me!


Source: She Wields a Pen: American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century (University of Iowa Press, 1997)
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